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Trump was unaware of Huawei arrest: officials

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Trump was unaware of Huawei arrest: officials

Trump was unaware of Huawei arrest: officials

President Donald Trump did not know about plans to arrest a top executive at Huawei, two U.S. officials said, in an apparent attempt to stop the incident from impeding crucial trade talks with Beijing.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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Trump was unaware of Huawei arrest: officials

The White House is seeking to distance itself from the bombshell Huawei arrest, that could deal a blow to any trade war truce.

The Chinese tech giant's finance chief was arrested Saturday, Meng Wanzhou is also the daughter of Huawei's founder.

Her arrest in Canada - at the request of the United States, came as President Trump and President Xi dined together in Argentina, agreeing to a 90-day ceasefire from a trade war that's rocked global markets for much of the year.

Meng now faces extradition to the U.S. her arrest was only made public on Wednesday (December 5).

Sources say it's part of a U.S. investigation that dates back to at least 2016.

It's focused on an alleged scheme by Huawei to use the global banking system to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Now - two U.S. officials have said Trump didn't know about the arrest.

And a Reuters' source said the president wasn't aware of the extradition request either.

Saying its chiefly a matter for the Justice Department.

Canada's Justin Trudeau- also tried to distance himself on Thursday (December 6): (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADA'S PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU, SAYING: "The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case without any political involvement or interference, as must be the case." Some U.S. lawmakers not quite as tight lipped.

Republican senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse - all welcoming the news, and saying the world's biggest maker of telecoms equipment poses a security threat.

The darling of China's tech sector is under intense scrutiny in the West, over its ties to Beijing and concerns its technology could be used for spying.

Claims Huawei vehemently denies.

Beijing spoke out against the arrest Thursday - demanding Meng's immediate release.

And Huawei maintains they've been given very little information about the charges against her, saying they're not aware of any wrongdoing.




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